Dave Jones paid tribute to his Cardiff players after they threatened to pull off a major cup upset against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
The Bluebirds were eventually beaten 4-1 by Carlo Ancelotti's side, but not before giving Chelsea a scare when Michael Chopra cancelled out Didier Drogba's early opener.
Jones said: "It is hard on the players because the scoreline looks like it has been a bit of a drubbing. That bit of quality has come through for them."
He added: "Certainly for over an hour we gave a good account of ourselves and showed great character after going a goal down after a couple of minutes.
"I decided to come here and have a go. Every player deserved a lot of plaudits because they worked their socks off but you get undone by the little bit of quality their guys have.
"Chelsea is the best club in their division at the moment but when you look at the players they have got, it was a great achievement from our players.
"I cannot fault them in anything they have done, they were magnificent. It looks like a drubbing but it was far from that."
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